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My Invisalign Experience - Villa Park, CA

So far, so good. I am nearing the last few days...

So far, so good. I am nearing the last few days of my 2nd set of aligners. The whole thing is expected to take about 20 months.
I am 53 years old. I had braces in high school on my top arch only, and was never 100 percent happy with my teeth, so I finally decided to fo something about it, almost 3 1/3 years after my initial Invisalign consultation.
I selected "not sure" above, because I won't know if it was worth it for 20 months, when I see my final results!

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my teeth with my 2nd set

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better lighting

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in this pic you can see my lower extraction

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another pic

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bottom arch, showing extraction

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Yay!!!  So happy to see you! :D

I hope making the review wasn't too cumbersome.  

So, I see one lower canine on the left that is turned and a space from…a pulled tooth?  Is that right?  It looks like you've been wearing retainers religiously your whole life on the top arch.  Holy moley! :D  Are there any other issues you'll be working on?

We have a growing community of Invisaligners in their late thirties and above right now.  (I was one of those, but I'm finished treatment.  I'm 39 now :).  Here are a few, if you're interested in meeting them:

MsKityCity is almost done, and she's in her sixties.
shawnward is 52 and one month into treatment.
fab45mom is right around tray 7.
Kristen1166 is 47 and about four months into treatment.
AreYouKiddingMe is 50 and quite new.
sheemoho is 60 and very new, but hasn't updated yet.  Hope they're okay!
shepherdqueen (48) and her teenaged son are doing Invisalign together and she updates for both of them :).

Feel free to introduce yourself to any of them or anyone else.  Our community is very welcoming! :)

I look forward to watching your progress!
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Let's see.....no, I have not worn a retainer on my top arch since high school, and I had 1 extraction on my bottom left on March 24th by my dentist, then drove straight to my orthodontist, and got my 1st set of aligners. My teeth look better than they really are. I have TMJ, no pain with it at all, but apparently it has caused me to grind my teeth over the years, so my bottom teeth look like a slide. The bottom are also leaning to my right a little bit, from bottom overcrowding. Invisalign will not get rid of the "slide" completely, but it will help. Yes, 1  lower tooth, on my left side is turned, from over-crowding. When that tooth gets straight, and the leaning dissppears, that hole from the extraction should go away. I put in my 3rd set tomorrow (Sunday) night, May
I put in my 3rd set tomorrow (Sunday) night, May 11th. I see no difference in my teeth yet, but when I bite down gently with my aligners out, I can FEEL a slight difference. Many people have asked my "why", or said "you don't need it", but my teeth and my smile looks better than it really is. Hopefully that all makes sense.

3rd set of aligners

I popped in my 3rd set of aligners on Sunday night, May 11th. For the 1st time, I finally felt pressure, so I also took 1 Tylenol. I have had them In for about 27 hours now- they have only been out for 45 minutes so far. I have a feeling that at the end of these 3 weeks with set #3, that I will see some change!

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Happy belated birthday!  Today is one of my kids' birthday :D
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Thank you.
I saw changes pretty quickly it all depends on what teeth are moving first. For me it was my two front teeth so even the slightest corrections by tray 3-4 looked amazing. At least to me!
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I am in severe pain last 24 hours

I have tmj, for as long as I can remember, over 40 years, I hear a "pop" every time I open my mouth, on my right side, and it has caused me over the years to grind my teeth while I sleep. That wasthe extent of my symptoms, never any pain. I am nearing the end of my 3rd set of aligners. I noticed about 1 week ago that my popping sound every time I open my mouth is not as loud/severe. Last night, the pain started. It appears to be in my upper left jaw area, but it is hard to pinpoint. I have a dentist appt for sn unrelated issue this Friday, and my next ortho appt is Monday, to get my 4th set of aligners. I will ask both what could be causing this pain. I am taking extra strength Tylenol since Thursday morning. I had a very hard time sleeping today, and am working all night tonight. I think the pain must be related to my tmj, and the aligners, and the reshaping of my jaw that invisalign causes. Hopefully this pain is very temporary!

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Called my ortho's emergency #

My orthodontist called me back within 10 minutes. I reminded him of my TMJ disorder, and he told me to remove my aligners for as day or 2, to hopefully refuce the swelling. I guess I have swelling.....I removed my aligners at approx. 11:00 p.m. They have been out about 35 minutes now, and my pain is 80 petcent gone! I can live with this level of pain. I wonder if the pain will come back when I put them back in, and if this pain will delay getting set #4 on Monday, or change my treatment plan in any way.

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the "relief" only lasted about 30 minutes

Still in agony. I switched from Extra Strength Tylenol to Advil Liqui-Gels, but still in major pain; shooting pains also, every 2 or 3 minutes. I need to remember to breathe!

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in case I have to quit Invisalign

This may be as straight as my teeth are ever going to be. I hope it gets better, and I can continue on!

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Oh my!  I'm so sorry to see this!  Have things improved at all?  I hope your dentist can help you today.  Please let us know how it goes.
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No, still in incredible pain, trying to get some sleep at my Dad's house, since he lives very close to my dentist. I am getting up now to get ready to go. I took a vicodin a few hours ago, and it did not help!
Oh no! :(  :(:(:(:(:(  

Good luck with the dentist!  I hope this is over for you soon!

intermittent pain

My aligners are still out. I plan on getting a vicodin prescription filled today, and then go home and put my aligners back in tonight. Today I got a slushie icy drink at Costco. It started a massive pain attack that luckily only lasted about 20 minutes. That sounds kind of like nerve pain to me. I can't wait to hear what my ortho says at my appt on Monday. I am scared to eat or drink anything now!

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Did the dentist not have anything to say on Friday?  Did they just prescribe the Vicodin?
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No, I didn't really expect him to know. He did think that my pain is muscular, not joint related, by conducting a few simple tests, like having me stick my fingers in my ears, etc. He is 80 years old, by the way. I put my aligners back in 45 minutes ago- they had been out for exactly 48 hours. So far, so good. Eating or drinking anything causes mild to very severe pain. Room temp liquids and food causes the least amount of pain.
About a year ago, In anticipation of getting Invisalign, I thought I might have a cracked tooth. Wanting to get that confirmed and fixed if necessary, I went to my dentist. He was having me bite down on a popsicle stick, etc. Finally I said " aren't you going to take x-rays? " He did then, and a while later, I got a bill for the x-rays for $25. The office is out of the 1960s. He is so inexpensive, but not high tech at all. My ortho is just the opposite.

at dentist

In chair now. Update later. Thx

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I don't know if the cracked tooth is causing all of my pain, or if I have 2 problems going on.
Okay…will wait for further info, and hope for cessation of your pain!
I found out today that I have an abcess in lower left back tooth. Now on antibiotics and a different pain pill. Root canal scheduled for next Monday, June 9th. My mouth is so sore from yesterday that i can hardly open my mouth.

update

I made an "emergency visit" to my new dentist who is scheduled to do my root canal on Monday June 9th. He is sending me to yet another dentist tomorrow (Friday) morning, for an I and D (incision and drainage). Yes, I am going to have pus drained !!! I cannot eat soup using a soup spoon. I can't open my mouth that wide, I used a straw. The root canal is still scheduled for Monday, if I can open my mouth by then. I only had 1 pain pill left, and I got a refill.

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Update, root canal performed after conference call between 3 different dentists this past Monday June 9th around 5 p.m. Done under general anesthesia, so they could pry open my jaw to do it. I can still not open my mouth enough to eat or brush my teeth. Liquid diet, numb lower front teeth, numb bottom lip, swollen upper throat from abscess.

update

Root canal performed under general anesthesia on Monday June 9th, after conference call between 3 different dentists. They opened my jaw somehow while I was under to be able to do the root canal. I still cannot open my mouth enough to eat or brush my teeth. On a liquid diet. Still numb bottom front teeth, numb bottom lip and swollen upper neck.

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How long do they expect for you to still be in this type of pain??
I am not really in any pain, just uncomfortable because of above mentioned symptoms. I asked the endodontist who performed my root canal how long it will take before I can open my mouth, and she said to call her if I cannot open my jaw in 7 to 10 days. I sure hope it doesn't take that long !!! I am not sure when I should put my aligners back in. I guess I can't even try the lower aligners before I get a crown. My appt for crown fitting is 6/23/14, but maybe I could try the top aligners in a few days. Too bad I don't need to lose any weight, because this is definitely a way to lose weight !!!
Well, you're getting through it, so that's something.  But 7-10 days is a long time.  That sounds like an outside estimate, though.  Fingers crossed.  

As far as your aligners go, you may need to go backward :(.  But the most important thing is, when you go in for the crown, bring your aligners!!!!  I got a crown after Invisalign (but I'm still in retainers, of course,) and I had to bring the retainers with me, both for the molding, to make sure the retainer fit over the mold that was sent in, and for the installation of the perm, to make sure the perm fit into the retainer.  My dentist had to modify the crown for half an hour, by hand, so that it'd fit in my retainer.  So find out from your doctor which aligner you should start from, then make sure to bring that tray and the ones before and after to your dentist.  It's not a guarantee, but they will hopefully be able to avoid having to do a new series of Invisalign aligners for you.

inserted my upper aligner tonight

I decided to put my top aligner (set 3) back in tonight. It has been 2 weeks since I stopped wearing them. I have no idea if this is a good idea or not. If I feel any pain, I will remove them immediately. Leaving bottom aligner out still. Still numb, and unable to open mouth very far. I was able to brush and floss tonight, barely.

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Small improvements--can't come fast enough!  I'd think you should be sore from the tray tomorrow, in that normal way that one gets sore after a new tray, but I'm curious to see how it goes for you, because maybe your teeth didn't move that much.
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Set 3 lasted for 4 hours. I had to take it out in the middle of the night. I will try set 2 tonight (upper arch only).
Oh, okay.  Good luck!

another thing

Still numb bottom front teeth, numb bottom lip, and chin area. I think my mouth is opening a tiny bit wider today. As of yesterday, I weighed the same as when I was 25 years old! The only good thing about having an abscess, I have lost 5 or 6 pounds!!! I do not lose (or gain) weight easily. It remains pretty constant. I always weigh myself on my sister's fancy digital scale, so I am comparing apples to apples. 5' 6" tall, 124.6 pounds.

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scale

My current weight.

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At least you found the right set.  You'll get this done yet!  I know sometimes some of my teeth didn't fit perfectly right away, which was another reason I clenched my teeth so much, chewing on the trays to get them to seat well.  Terrible.  But it's great to hear how well your doctors are working together and with you!
Good thing you're still at a healthy weight.  It can be more difficult to heal if you dip underweight for too long--that's what I've found in the past, in my own experience.
Yeah, I don't have to worry about that. It is not in my genes to ever get skinny !!!

update, June 18-19th

During the night, at work, Wednesday night/Thursday morning, my lower left jaw swelled up again. I called the endodontist who performed my root canal and went to see her at 4:30 p.m. The dentist from next door walked over and they were trying to figure out what is wrong. They do not know. They prescribed another antibiotic and also a steroid to reduce inflammation. I may have to finally get that incision & drainage next Monday ( I need to get some sleep tomorrow/Friday). They told me to wait on getting measured for the crown, so I cancelled that appt.

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Not much point in getting fitted for a crown in your state :(.  I am really sad that they haven't figured out what's wrong yet, but continue to hope that each new intervention will bring improvement.  I hope the swelling allows you to sleep.
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They said to wait on being fitted for a crown in case the worst case scenario happens, and the now ground down tooth has to be pulled. It would be a waste of money. No pain at least, but can't open my mouth very far and still numb lower front teeth, bottom lip and chin. I should be starting my 5 th set on Monday, and I am on my 2nd set, and probably will be for another month !!!! Oh well.

incision & drainage cancelled/postponed

I went in for my surgery this morning, and my swelling was almost gone. The dentist decided against doing the surgery. He said if he cut me open that he would find no puss. He said to finish my antibiotics, and let's see if my swelling comes back. I am still wearing set #2. As of yesterday, I should have started set #5, changing into a new set every 3 weeks, so this ordeal has put me way behind schedule. I may be wearing set #2 for another month! I have no idea. Not sure what is next, just wait & see, I guess.

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It would be great to avoid surgery, though.  You'll be a couple of months behind at the end of this, but…you know…two months.  At the end, it won't feel like much.  As long as all of this misery (and not knowing) gets ended now, and you don't have to go through it again later.  I hope this is the end of it!!!
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Can anyone tell me how many total sets I will have?

I read sll of the Invisalign reviews, and I read on one of them that you can tell how many sets of aligners you will have to wear by reading the numbers that are printed on your aligners. My current aligners read "82810-1A-L and 82810-1AU. Can anyone tell me how many sets this means that I will have to wear. I was told by my orthofontist, 3 weeks per set, for 20 to 24 months, which Is about 35 sets.

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appt made for July 2nd

I have an appt for July 2nd with the dentist who will eventually do my crown. Probably not next week though, since I am still swollen, & cannot open my jaw very far. I am curious as to what will happen next, and what the dentist will say. I will be finished with my antibiotics by then.
I am still numb, and it is driving me crazy. It feels like when your foot is asleep, but it is in my jaw, that tingly feeling.
I have been wearing set #2, both uppers and lowers the last several days.

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I don't get "little baggies", they just hand the aligners to me.
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I'm not sure, but I always thought the number they were talking about was on the little baggie each aligner comes in.  Because on that one it says "aligner x of y", so mine always said, like, "aligner 3 of 18" even though I only ended up doing 15 aligners before my refinement.  If I had to take a guess, it'd be that the numbers on your actual aligners are case number, aligner number, left/right.  Your math is likely the best estimate, and your doctor could tell you more.  But there are also mid-course corrections and refinements which may add time, and it may be that your doctor moves to 2 weeks/aligner instead of 3 at some point, if thing start going well.
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O.k, thank you.

I got a new temp crown today

I was measured for my permanent crown today and will receive it in 2 weeks. I also got a better temporary crown put on today. I am still a little bit swollen, but not really noticeable. I am still numb, and cannot open my jaw very wide, but wide enough to let the dentist do his work today. He asked for my bottom aligner, in order to make the crown. I gave it to him (set #2), and when I got home, I put in set #3, both top & bottom. I had been wearing set #2, this time around, for 4 1/2 weeks, so hopefully it is o.k to install set #3, (again). I had previously worn set #3 for almost 3 weeks when this whole ordeal started.

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Oh!  Huh.  I never even considered that.  Each of my aligners was pre-packaged in an individually labeled bag.  My retainers as well.  They came from Invisalign that way.  I'm always surprised how different doctors handle things!

Big update today

Today I received my permanent crown. I then went to my orthodontist, 1 block away, and got my 4th set, PLUS 9 attachments!!! It is 5:00 p.m, and I have not eaten or drank anything all day yet. I don't know if I will be able to get my aligners off or not, but will try so I can eat something later today.

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another thing

I can open my mouth/jaw about 90 percent now. Still numb lower front teeth, numb bottom lip, and numb chin.
Pain is all gone, abscess all healed.

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Progress.  But it's still worrying that you are numb.  I see symptoms like that in the jaw surgery community all the time, but not in Invisalign.  Has there been any progress on that at all, other than the pain receding, or?

I'm assuming the crown fit in your aligners, so that's great!  That doesn't always happen :).
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I gave my dentist my 2nd set of aligners, so he could make the crown to fit. I dId some internet research, and I think one of the numbing shots hit my nerve. It can take 6 to 12 months to get the feeling back.
Smart :)  About giving the aligner, I mean!

And re. the numbness, at least that's an explanation, and it makes sense.  And they said it's usual for the sensation to return, I assume.  That's really heartening!

question

Has anyone noticed that their teeth start moving faster once the attachments are put on? Just curious. It seems logical that they would start to move quicker. If you have attachments applied with set #1, you would not know.

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I definitely noticed that.  They also seem to move faster, though, after they start getting looser--so not the first week.
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O.k good. I am looking forward to seeing some movement. And my attachments aren't bad at all. Even I can barely detect them.
Nice!  Not everyone's attachments are well-hidden, so that's good that yours are!  Nine isn't so very many either--totally doable! :)

I got my 5th set today !!!

I had my orthodontist appt this afternoon. I had been wearing my 4th set for only 2 weeks, but he had me put in my 5th set, gave me my 6th set, told me to start wearing the 6th set 2 weeks from today, and come back for my next appt in 4 weeks. My ortho had me changing every 3 weeks, and now it is every 2 weeks. They gave me one of the bags that my aligners come in today, and it said "set 5 of 24". 24 sets, changing every 2 weeks does not equal 20 to 24 months. It comes out to next April !!! Maybe 24 sets is just "phase 1", or something like that. I will ask at my next appt on August 28th.

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another thing

And, since I lost 2 months of treatment time because of my cracked tooth/ abscess setback, being finished in April 2015 would only be a total of 11 months of treatment time. I am very curious now. I will ask at my next appt.
By the way, I still have numb lower front teeth, numb chin, and numb bottom lip. I can open my jaw about 90 percent now.

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Your teeth weren't that severe to start out--it wouldn't surprise me at all if your treatment time was just about a year, give or take, including refinements.  Please et us know what they say when you ask :D!
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I now have a space

In the past 12 hours or so, I have developed a small space in my lower arch, to my right of my most crooked tooth. I know that this has to occur in order to rotate that tooth, but it looks funny. Not noticable with my aligners in,
WhIch is pretty much all the time.

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I may be done by April, 2015 !!!

I decided to not wait, and called my ortho's office on Monday, Aug. 4th. I will have only 24 sets, unless refinements are needed. So, when my ortho told me 20 to 24 months, I guess he was quoting me the "worst case scenario". Subtracting the 2 months that I lost due to my abscess, if no refinements are needed, that Is only 11 months !!!

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Whoooop! Finally some great news!!!
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I will be changing to my 6th set tonight

Sometime in the middle of the night tonight, I will be putting in my 6th set of aligners. This 5th set gave me a space on my bottom arch, so that tooth next to
the extraction space can rotate, and in turn, cause my bottom arch front teeth to become more vertical. Still numb in bottom lip, chin, and lower front teeth. I drool when I eat and brush my teeth, since I can't feel anything running down my chin !!!! Getting lots of stains on my shirts !!!

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The drooling does not happen all the time, and it is not too obvious. I am trying to be extra careful. I look in the mirror when I brush my teeth now, so I don't get white foam all over my chin, shirt, and the floor!
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I'm surprised at how much space was made that quickly!  I also somehow failed to realize how severe that numbness is.  If you're drooling while you eat, that's really inconvenient.  Do you avoid eating out, or is it not that obvious?
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Set #7 went in yesterday

I just took my aligners out for less than 20 minutes, after wearing them for 13 hours straight. It hurt to put them back in, mainly the top arch. I will leave them in for the next 12 hours before I take them out again. I have lots of space in my bottom arch now, to help rotate my tooth to my right of my extraction site.

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extraction site

My space is getting smaller.

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Whew!  Finally coming along so we can see some progress!  With such a difficult start, it must be nice :D.
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Yes it is, thanks. :)
Oops--sorry, I didn't get notified of your reply cause it wasn't under my comment.  Thanks for answering, though.  It reminds me of what the folks over in jaw surgery go through.  They are generally numb afterwards for a while (6 months to a year!) and they have to deal with all that.  And a liquid diet.  Blah.

Halfway thru set #7

Halfway thru set #7. I will be wearing sets 7 and 8 for an extra day or 2 each (15 or 16 days), because we had gotten in this pattern where my ortho was having me come in every 4th Thursday to get my next 2 sets. All I want to do on Thursdays is sleep all day because I work Wed. & Thurs. nights, so we have changed my appts to every 4th Tuesday, late afternoons so I can sleep in the morning.

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Yeah, you definitely need to do what works for your own mental (and physical!) health.  Glad to know that the doc was willing to switch the schedule.  Any progress on the numbness?
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No, still numb, and sometimes I imagine I am drooling, grab a napkin real quick, and there is nothing there !
Better than the alternative of drooling and not knowing, I suppose!  I wonder if the imagining has something to do with weird nerve impulses.

Set #8 is now in !

I inserted set #8 tonight, after wearing set #7 for 17 days. I plan on wearing set #8 for 16 days, until my next ortho appt.
I forgot to take a pic before I put this set in, and I always leave them in initially for at least 18 hours to avoid major pain.

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18 hours!  Do you just eat one meal that day, then, or how do you work that?
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Yes, I make sure that I eat a lot before inserting them. I think it reduces the pain to leave them in as long as possible when putting in a brand new set. Also, only taking them out for very short periods of time for the first 2 days or so.
I think you're right--that's certainly my experience and the consensus I've seen on here.  But 18 hours I've never tried at the beginning of a new tray.  That's what I'll di next time I have to break in a new retainer.  Those are heinous :D.  Do you do a lot of intermittant fasting?

Space getting wider

Slightly less than 24 hours with this new set, and my lower arch space is really widening up !

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I don't know what "intermittant fasting" is, but I don't eat for those 18 hours once every 2 weeks, when I put in my new trays.
Oh, okay :).  Some people do that kind of thing several times per week!  I used to when I was working out like crazy, but it was hard on my body.  Great to see you're getting some more space there on the bottom!

Set #9 in on Sept. 30th

More spacing can be seen on bottom arch. I didn't ask why, but I will be wearing this set for 3 weeks instead of 2. My ortho told me to make an appt for 3 weeks into the future, so I did.

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Space between all the teeth on the bottom now! :D
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New pictures, 10/16/2014

Updated pictures. I have insomnia, so I took some pics a few minutes ago. I get set #10 next Tuesday Oct. 21st.

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Thanks for the latest pictures!  I somehow failed to notice your crossbite before, so I went back and looked at all your pictures.  It looks like it's improving, though :).
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More pictures of my crossbite

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Yeah, my mouth on close inspection really is a mess. Crossbite, underbite, TMJ (never any TMJ pain, just a pop on right jaw whenever I open my mouth), and grinding of my teeth, which I can't and don't do anymore because of wearing my aligners. I think there are other issues as well, but don't know the details.
I thought I saw a little underbite, and then I thought I had to be wrong, because when you showed the crossbite, your upper jaw was on the outside.  Even more important you're getting this fixed!  It's really hard to keep your teeth healthy with a crossbite and an underbite.  They are just gonna chip all the time.
My upper teeth do stick our futher than my lower teeth, but my ortho told me that I have an underbite, so I guess not enough.
Dr. Ken Fischer

An "Elite Premier Provider", member of the American Association of Orthodontists. He is my nephew's orthodontist, who had traditional braces several years ago, and still has periodic follow-up appts with him.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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